May 30, 2023 marked the official opening of the Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center (UTHSC), College of Nursing in Memphis, TN. The Center is the first of its kind with a mission to promote the development of nursing theory and to generate new theories or expand existing theories with a particular focus on Dr. Newman’s theory of Health as Expanding Consciousness.. Using a model of scholarship, leadership, innovation, and practice, the Center provides for direct collaboration with international nurse scholars, practitioners, and students committed to generating knowledge for nursing education, practice, and research.
Reflecting on the significance of the Center, Dr. Margaret Pharris (shown in the photo above) shared these thoughts:
The establishment of the Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory at the University of Tennessee College of Nursing in Memphis provides a unique physical and online space where nurses can advance their practice, teaching, and research based on Margaret Newman’s theory of health as expanding consciousness. In the UTHSC College of Nursing there is increasing capacity to advise graduate students who are using Newman’s theory to guide their work. Additionally, the UTHSC Archivist, Jennifer Langford (email@example.com) is working to digitalize the Dr. Margaret A. Newman archive collection so that these valuable resources are available around the world. For example, you can access Dr. Margaret Newman’s 1978 “Toward a Theory of Health” talk at the Second Annual Nursing Theory conference in New York City, along with two panel dialogues in which 10 prominent nursing theorists share their views about the future of nursing theory. The Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory represents a significant step forward for the advancement of nursology.– Margaret Pharris
The event dedicating the Center took place in the Dr. Margaret A. Newman Dialogue Room. Dr. Wendy Likes, Dean of the College of Nursing welcomed university faculty, students, staff, and guests, many of whom travelled long distances to attend. Among those attending were the Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory Advisory Board members (Drs. Emiko Endo, Jane Flanagan, Marie Gill, Carolyn Graff, Dorothy Jones, Wendy Likes, Margaret Pharris, Marlaine Smith, and Mona Wicks). Also in attendance were UTHSC Chancellor Buckley, Donna Mehr (Dr. Newman’s niece), Leigh Ann Carkeet (Dr. Newman’s great niece), and Dr. Dianne Greenhill and Coleen Turman Bertsch (Dr. Newman’s BSN classmates, 1962). A tribute memorial was also given for Dr. Melody Waller who served as the inaugural Director of the Center.
Two permanent exhibits displayed Dr. Newman’s Doctoral Regalia from NYU, 1971 and a chronological overview of her academic career with emphasis on the development of Dr. Newman’s “health as expanding consciousness” theory. The Center’s Director, Dr. Marie Gill, revealed a portrait of Dr. Newman, gifted from an anonymous donor.
David Mills, UTHSC Government Relations, read the Tennessee Senate Joint Resolution NO. 520, to acknowledge the establishment of the Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory and to declare May 30 as Dr. Margaret A. Newman Nursing Theorist Day in recognition for her laudable achievements and substantial contributions to the field of nursing! The reading of the resolution was followed by the ribbon-cutting with Donna Mehr, Dr. Wendy Likes and the Advisory Board,
There are two episodes from the “That’s Healthful” podcast that are of great interest related to the Newman Center! The first is a discussion with Dean Likes and Dr. Marie Gill regarding the development and opening of the Dr. Margaret A. Newman Center for Nursing Theory.
The second podcast is a discussion with Drs. Gill, Carolyn Graff, and Mona Wicks regarding an introduction to nursing theory and an overview of Dr. Newman’s Health as Expanding Consciousness theory. This podcast is geared toward nurse educators, clinicians, and scholars.